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The Debut

             Families has been the unit of society and .
             It ordinarily consists of grandparents, the parents, and the .
             children. Respect for the elders is one Filipino trait that has remained in the book of .
             unwritten laws. The Filipino parent exercises almost absolute powers over the children. I .
             have decided to watch a Filipino movie where I can observe some of my native culture .
             and try to relate to them.
             Identity crisis has to be one of the greatest problems any teenager will face in his .
             or her life. This story was based on a young, whitewashed Filipino American who was .
             reacquainted with his ethnic culture, while dealing with both a tradition-minded father .
             and a romantic infatuation with a classmate.
             Dante Basco, star of Fakin" da Funk Festival 1998 plays Ben Mercado in this .
             movie, a gifted young high school senior who enrolls in a prestigious art school in order .
             to achieve his dream of becoming an animator. However, his plans come into conflict .
             with those of his immigrant father Roland (Tirso CruzIII), a postal worker intent on .
             seeing Ben become a doctor. They had a long-simmering feud and for Ben, a struggle to .
             fit into American life and reject his Filipino heritage; and for Roland, a quest to give his .
             children a better life than he had. Things boil over and ruin the elaborate party of Ben's .
             sister Rose.
             However, it's that party where everything starts to change for Ben, his sense of .
             misplaced identity, his choice of friends, and even the way he regards his father. Most .
             importantly, he finds a confidante and perhaps a love interest that happens to be his .
             sister's best friend, Annabelle. Ben is out of the woods by any means. The arrival of the .
             Mercado family's browbeating patriarch (Filipino movie legend Eddie Garcia) .
             exacerbates the tensions between father and son. For Ben, it was worse that his romance .
             with Annabelle is complicated by the presence at his sister's party of hotheaded Augusto .
             (Darion Basco).

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